With the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition, we set out to reinvent screen time and add more pathways to the invention process. One way we did this was launching a kit with Bluetooth wireless technology, all packed into one tiny little Bit – the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Bit. We’re pretty pumped about it because it is the easiest, most powerful way we’ve ever gone wireless.
If you’re new to littleBits or Bluetooth tech, you might be asking yourself: “So, what exactly is the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit and what does it do?”
If you want to know how to use this small Bit and do amazing, magical things with it, read on and get all of your questions answered! We sat down with the main electrical engineer who created the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit, Sean Schumer, and he broke down the mechanics of the Bit so you can understand it better and get moving in your invention process.
What is Bluetooth Low Energy exactly?
Basically, Bluetooth is a way for two devices to talk to each other wirelessly and send each other data. Bluetooth Low Energy technology uses less power than traditional Bluetooth technology, making it ideal for personal devices like smartphones and tablets. For example, if you’re playing music on your smartphone via a wireless speaker, that’s Bluetooth technology. You’re controlling the speaker with your phone!
How does the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit work in a littleBits kit?
This Bit connects two devices wirelessly, so your smartphone or tablet becomes a tool for controlling inventions, or collecting information from them.
How will this Bit affect or change the inventing process?
Well, for many young creators their first tech access point is a tablet or a smartphone. This is a natural entry point for hardware because it’s easy to explore and design. Since kids understand how to use this tech, this entry point is an extension of that. It might even make the invention process easier for them, because they can envision tools they want or need to create with.
Wow, how long did it take you to develop this Bit?
A few months. I worked on it on and off in my spare time.
Is it easy to use?
Totally! It’s as easy as using an app and it works with the smart technology you already have.
What can I make with the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit?
You can make lots of inventions with it. In the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd edition, my favorite invention is the Bitbot, a rover that roams your world wirelessly.
What makes the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit so much fun?
You can choose how you want to control your inventions. Plus, you can trigger your phone’s camera with littleBits – the possibilities for interacting are nearly endless!
The Bluetooth Low Energy Bit adds tons of functionality to your inventions. You can now control your Bits with your phone’s touch screen and sensors like the gyroscope and accelerometer, or use your Bits to take pictures and display data on your device! Check out the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition to get a load of all the inventions you can create, and see the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit in action.